PSA: Evidence-Based Science on Google+

PSA: Evidence-Based Science on Google+

Some scientific facts aren’t up for debate in our science community. As scientists, we follow where the evidence leads, and the overwhelming evidence supports anthropogenic climate change, the efficacy of vaccines, the soundness of evolutionary theory, and the safety of GMO. There is vigorous debate within various scientific disciplines on how these settled areas of science work and what future outcomes of (for example) climate change or evolution will be. However, debate over mechanisms and outcomes should never be considered debate over the basic facts of a subject. A person claiming, for example, that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax is making an extraordinary claim against a huge body of peer-reviewed evidence, and barring extraordinary, credible, peer-reviewed evidence to support that claim, a post making such a claim will be removed from this community. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

The focus of our community is on research trying to address these issues, and not to rehash or debate the evidence. Unlike politicians, we don’t take positions to win votes or gain popularity. Rather, we ground our positions in the best evidence available to us, recognizing that scientific evidence may be incomplete but is constantly self-correcting. 

What is scientific consensus? :

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  1. A little while ago biologists analysed hair samples that were supposedly from the big foot and from the yeti.

    Interestingly, one of the yeti samples came back positive for a yet undiscovered bear species. This obviously does not disprove evolution or vaccines, but it shows that scientific studies are important, even for things we ‘believe’ to be untrue.

    But, seriously, it’s sad that people don’t believe in science.


  2. Cultural legacy bias, and global biases are not eliminated by peer review. As such its relatively common to have a popular scientific consensus that is not truely heavily supported by the facts. In my mind science should be the open-minded exploration of the truth, the stronger or weaker supporting of theories, rather than a mindset that leads to final answers. Although this varies wildly based on the type of science, some things are relatively established. All the same, its more refreshing to see flexibility and humility in science, and for me, as someone who is perfectly capable of self-directed research and critical analysis, I find people find rigidity in thinking off putting.


  3. All this “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” shows is bias. Einstiens early research for example would have benefited more from collaboration and exploration than from mental resistance. I would instead say ‘what is relatively untested, and not rigourously examined from multiple perspectives is simply unknown at this time, and that anyone who claims otherwise, either way, is not demonstrating reason, but bias’. 


  4. Jamie Karl, the difference is that I show my new research at an academic Conference and have qualified scientists in my field tell me what I should improve on.

    Anyone can present at an academic conference, just submit your abstract if you have a new idea.

    This is not the venue for new research that goes against traditional theory.


  5. Science on Google+ There isn’t any new science on golden rice that I’m aware of. Deployment of golden rice is a policy decision i.e. politics. It’s not new knowledge but rather aging technology. 


  6. Jason Davison Very well, this may not be the avenue for it. But what is expressed above is just the other unscientific side of the weakly, or untested coin – if you look at core scientific theory, science does not comment on what has not been explored, or examined, and its confidence on any proposition is proportional to the amount of thorough testing. If you read above, you will see some significant parts of it do not conform to the open-minded agnosticism of core scientific theory (particularly the picture). That makes it more like philosophy. And that (firm assertions against the unknown) should really has as little place in a science discussion, as firm assertions of the unknown, they are simply two sides of the same kind of bias. A common mistake of the scientifically minded, but one that should be corrected all the same.


  7. Science – if used properly everything should be open to some degree of both skepticism, and possibility. A constant revision and analysis, an evolution. Unfortunately us humans are not as rational as we believe, when arriving at conclusions. Hence why pure science is such a good thing. Fine for those things to be not open for discussion however. Any group belongs to its owners. 


  8. Science on Google+

     Actually before I retired I advised physicians about what to prescribe (or not to). So would I take what was prescribed without question? No.

    “In the UK, 4.1 million people receive treatment for asthma. However, studies of adults diagnosed with asthma suggest that up to 30 per cent do not have clear evidence of asthma. Some may have had asthma in the past, but it is likely that many have been given an incorrect diagnosis.”

    If I was still working I’d probably be looking at spirometry  to undiagnose people and avoid prescribing. There are always questions.


  9. Jim Slater Our guidelines for posting are clear. We are inundated by hundreds of posts each week and we encourage high quality posts from credible sources, and with original scientific commentary. Other communities may accept anything and everything, but we have a team of practising scientists curating our posts to try to elevate science discussions and educate. It seems those other science communities are better suited to your needs.


  10. Jamie Karl You seem to have a distorted view of science and have completely missed the point of our post. As our moderators have already pointed out repeatedly on this thread and in our post, the basics of science are not up for debate: evolutionary theory; climate change: and so on. Our community has over 512K members. This page is reaching 540K followers. We cannot continue debating issues that have long-achieved scientific consensus as it’s a poor use of our time as moderators and scientists. When it comes to the topics we’ve written about in this post, we are only interested in educational posts that focus on solutions to these problems, or which extend our understanding of the existing body of evidence. 

    Science is not about some degree of scepticism. Evoking a romanticised idea of Einstein without actually understanding the intricacies of his science is a problem. Science is about using credible theories and methods (informed by peer-reviewed science) and collecting evidence that is valid and reliable. You are clearly not interested in engaging with science, but rather you perceive that all opinions are equally valid. You’re free to voice your personal opinions on your own thread, but personal opinions are not science. Evidence that has withstood the test of peer-review is science.


  11. Frank Patrick The study you refer to analysed 30 hair samples of creatures that others claim to be yeti and other mythical creatures. All except two samples can be traced to extant mammalian species (that is, species that still exist to this day). The researchers argue that the other two may be linked to a “different hybridization event during the early stages of species divergence between U. arctos and U. maritimus” In other words, they may be a hybrid between brown bear and polar bear. Rather than disproving “what we ‘believe’ to be untrue” as  you put it, it is more accurate to say that this study actually lends further support to existing body of evidence. It dispels folk myths about the so-called yeti and other cultural derivatives. The original study:

    This study is off topic, but its tangential value is that science debunks  #ScienceMediaHype .


  12. Brad Boutwell it is worth understanding what this post says: anyone “making an extraordinary claim against a huge body of peer-reviewed evidence” will need “extraordinary, credible, peer-reviewed evidence to support that claim”. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.


  13. Brad Boutwell Seriously? There was nothing resembling modern peer review in Copernicus’s time. There was very little that you could call “science.” You’re asserting one of the many fallacious arguments presented by climate change deniers.

    Inserting “Copernicus” instead of Galileo doesn’t make it a clever argument. 

    I would suggest that persistence should earn you the banhammer. 


  14. It’s been Hitler’s brilliant plan to over come Americas idea of freedom. The great plan B. ……

    I read from a book that this Hitler, a mad man? I myself have no love for him nor hate. Interesting person and very intellectual with his communication skills that reach out of this world literally, claiming the presence of aliens and there willingness to evolve us to greatness of one and to offer peace to the ones that impeed. Who owns the pharmacy’s? Who is running the hospitals? Who is running the banks? Whom is the ones that made those UFOs. Fly? Talk about science and mind blowing. …. Facts or fiction, ? We are overpopulated as the world we now are. By 10 million by the time 2 billion meaning in simple terms we are almost out of resources USOfA hey!!!!!!! It all facts read and u shall see. Water fuel air dirt. Food it will all be the only trade we have in the times to see. Oh yea guns too if we get to keep them. . … Money will be no more. Gold gold and stuff I have listed will get u the other….. Maybe if you don’t get out on the lucky ones whom get to go to the secret bunkers to keep America alive. Not, try like the queens of England Wales of Scotland s. The dedicated Germans that have crafted a brilliant plan B . genocide of helpless humans that once where free, for a blink of an era. Hey u Hitler , there is no outcome that has a Victor, why? Why not let it go, you a paperhanger as a trade you where a proud man of what morals,. It’s not that it was his personal hand acting as mother nature but mother nature handling things as she may for the survival of herself. No not selfish but self efficient. I will agree only to this, not our in human ways that instinctual preservation of science self made. Like a man made from a thought


  15. Aestimatai,

    tiam bonvolu me clarigi, diatí evidentai factoi fysicalai – pruvitai per experimentoi – saepe ne szon acceptitai. Czu mejym doni exemplon jam sole-unun: 

    Sur vaesso de du czináoi trovidsas sur la unu un pesagjo cushanta, sur la oltra un pesagjo jjus cadinta, qvi cadegis de exp. du-metra altezza, produzinte — im 1/2 masso (en kg) oble qvadraton de la plej-ínfera rapidezza prae ectusho — tautan forzan, qve epí qvindecoblo la cushanta pesagjo sur la primenotita cziná superatas di la forza del cadinta. Do la vaess est en mal-aeqvilibro. 

    Id ipse trovidsas installita cun elevator, qvi — qviel cognite — seshas du flancoin: unu flanco levas pesan masson (en kg) cun egale remaneanta rápido, oltra flanco dal idema mass (en kg) remarcas la jjus occasintan cadon de qvindecobla forza per rapporto al la pura peso. La pesagjo de la prima cziná devas analevatir pro tiu batto. Cai evidentis, qve tio-ce besonjas solmentau deconon de la forza ec-remarqita sur la oltra czináo. Naturale, la levilabor diamenas iomette longiore, do la tempoi ne ejsas egalai, reqva la cádio occasas certe sempre pli rápide. Tial la elevator devas esti muntita meth tielnomatai nasoi de intercalado imnecesse barronta la retro-iremon eventualan del inércia ruedo accelerebla yl surplussom de energío trovata el la gravitacío.

    Nam dum seqvado en cado líbera dal alliczo el de la granda terra-masso evoluas cado-energío pli granda ol appliqendas dum levado sempre ac egale rápida, contínua, cai nonvarianta en potencso. Pruvebla per camión-vaesso, sur qviun cadas pesagjo el certa alto, cai per comparado de la energíoi investata por levado cun la tiu trovata el la cado de pesagjo idema sze acceleranta sendependan inércia ruedon al forta rotacío, exacte mensurinda cai nyin definitive realisenda. 

    Cun salutoi de paz, 

    vestra bluaMauritius, qvi al vi oreqas la manon en amiqezza cziama. Qve vivu la interpopolara respecto cai co-operado ! 


  16. (Bin Sprecher einer untergegangen-wordenen Sprache (des Deutschen), aber ich behaupte erstmal, dahs alle Sprachen auf der Erde (und sogar im Universum) das gleiche Recht des Erscheinens und Gebrauches haben.) 

    Zweitens möchte ich feststellen dürfen, dahs der Klimawandel NICHT allein menschengemacht, ánthropogenisch, ist, sondern dahs dabei fast immer, besonders auch heutigen Tages die Sonne mitwirkt, indem dahs sie sich schlau macht, wie sie explodieren könnte, d.h. sich in den nächsten Jahrtausenden stärker erhitzen wird. Ob das schon angefangen hat, könnte man mal untersuchen. Also die ánthropogenische Seite der Sache ist nicht “peer-evident”, leider nicht “peer”, nicht so edel und unantastbar.  

    Drittens, astronomisch bewiesen, die Lichtgeschwindigkeit ist schon mal gröhser gewesen, im Anfang nach dem behaupteten Urknall (es scheint aber ausserdem nur Urknälle pro jeder neuen Galaxis gehabt zu haben. Das Universum knallt die ganze Zeit und wird auch noch lange weiterknallen.)  

    Viertens, dahs nicht jede vom Menschen “ausgekochte” Impfstoff-Idee gleichermaahsen gut ist, dürfte eigentlich klar sein; es gibt zu vermeidende Gefahren.

    Fünftens, was der obige Diskutant mit “Elektrischem All” meint, könnte das die These sein, dahs im Raum auch ein so genannter Weltall-Äther ausgebreitet sei, dem zu Folge die Maxwell’schen Gleichungen für die Elektrizität einen Urgrund haben, dem zu Folge es auch möglich sein könnte, dahs man sich makrotechnisch bei Ausstohsung eines magnetischen Feldes und kurz danach anschliessend durch Ausstohsen eines dazu senkrechten elektrischen Feldes  von dem grad vorhin ausgestohsenen magnetischen Feld sich selbst abstohsen kann, weil es eine mini-kurze Zeit Resonanz im Raume hat, bevor es sich verflüchtigt. Dies wurde schon öfters als eine Möglichkeit der Fortbewegung im All angegeben, würde auch erklären, warum bemerkte magnetische Feldveränderungen (auch durch Piloten ((an ihren Instrumeten festgestellt))  bei irgendwelchen Fänomenen am Himmel vorkommen, die damit zeitlich einhergehen. 

    Sollte das schon untersucht sein, ziehe ich diese Frage zurück. Aber bis jetzt liegen da eigentlich (ausser dämlichem Gewäsch) keine “peer-evidence” Gegenbeweise vor. 

    Sechstens, Warum da einer die Homojopathie dermahsen auf dem Kieker hat, dahs er “nou” zu Homöapathie schreibt, legt wohl eher an der Falschdarstellung der ganzen Sache. Dahs fast unendliche Verdünnungen vielleicht oder ganz sicher nichts bringen, ändert aber nichts daran, dahs ohne die Homojopathen sehr vieles unerkannt und unbekannt geblieben wäre, denn Homojopathie befasste sich ja nicht nur mit Verdünnungs-Mirakeln … 

    Siebtens, Der Erfinder Tesla, auf den einige weltbekannte Erfindungen zurückgehen, die er auwell sein(e) Assistent(en) gemacht haben, hat, wie jeder Erfinder auch Dinge angeschnitten und zur Diskussion gestellt, die entweder dunkel geblieben sind – weil von gegeninteressierter Seite mit Absicht falsch dargestellt worden – oder mit irgendwelchen gepflegten Lackreinigern, sprich: übereifrigen Lehrsatz-Huddlern, auf Kollisionskurs lagen (oder noch immer liegen). Das müsste man von Fall zu Fall auf “Pier–Evidenz” untersuchen und zwar mit öffentlich wissenschaftlich kontrollierten und öffentlich gezeigten Versuchen, die danach nicht verschwunden-werden, sondern jederzeit offen bleiben, zu jedermanns Einsicht. Ich erinnere unter anderem an das für Edwin Gray aus Kalifornien 1975 (in den VStA) patentierte System des kondensator-impulsentladungs-getriebenen elektrischen Motors mit dessen Kondensatorenbänken und immanenten Spulen-Unterbrechungs-Rück – bzw. Ausschalt-Selbstinduktionen, was angeblich irgendwie Tesla-inspiriert gewesen sein soll. 

    Jedenfalls fehlt bis heute irgendein Beweis dafür, warum das NICHT funktioniert haben soll, obwohl es 1979/80 in Deutschland auf einem Kongress der Alternativenergetiker erfolgreich vorgeführt worden ist, unter hochwissenschaftlicher Kontrolle. Ganz abgesehen davon, dahs eigentlich die VStA (=USA) nicht dafür bekannt sind, Nicht- Funktionierendes zu patentieren geneigt zu sein, (ganz im Gegenteil). ——

    ((Was die Übersetzung dieses Beitrages ins Angloamerikanische anbelangt, mache ich mir allerdings auch Sorgen, da Guggel zum Teil haarsträubende Nullübersetzungen liefert, selbst bei einfachen Dingen!))

    shalom – salaam – saluton !

    bluaMauritius = Hans Dieter Wilh. GOERES,

    Mönchengladbach/Europa, über dem Mittelpunkt der Erde. 


  17. Well said. In the spirit of Sagan.  “In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.” — Carl Sagan, 1987


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